Daily Discovering the Blessing

Archive for February, 2013

Kingdom Rhythm – Part Two

Matthew 11:29– Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good – not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant) and My burden is light and easy to be borne. [Emphasis mine]

Kingdom rhythm acknowledges that the work is the Lord’s (Philippians 2:13). We are entirely enabled in our heavenly assignment through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit Who guides, instructs, counsels, helps, intercedes, strengthens (John 16:7) and Who :

will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. (John 16:13)

Not only did our Father, our Abba, give us our Kingdom assignment, He sent us His Spirit to work through us and accomplish the task! It is the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit Who accomplishes the work.  He strengthens us, completes and perfects and makes us what we ought to be and He equips us with everything that we need to carry out God’s will.  He works in us to accomplish all of this (Hebrews 13:21).  The job of listening and obeying is ours – the work, the determination of the path, the inner giftings, the plan and the purpose are His. We simply follow where the Master is leading, absolutely trusting that He wants to always do us only good. Kingdom rhythm is unforced and restful.  It is, if we will understand and allow it to be, Freedom!

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me.  Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.  (Matthew 11:30 –Message Bible)

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Kingdom Rhythm – Part One

What does it mean to you to be a steward?  Do you daily have a sense of determination to set your course in life recognizing the life call to be a caretaker in your assigned area?  God gives us a glimpse of the garden he prepared for His creation in Genesis 1 and 2: 

And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28).  [Emphasis mine]

When I was the headmaster of a Christian school, and prior to that as a teacher in the classroom, quite often I felt the Lord indicate to me that this was my garden to tend.  This was my area of stewardship before Him. The lives of the students and teachers in my charge were truly His garden.  How I attended to this task was daily informed by that sense of responsibility to the Master Gardener.  We all have an area of stewardship, a garden if you will, which we are to till “in the service of God and man”.  The manner in which we approach this Truth, the manner in which we set out about our day, either embracing that God-given task or ignoring its call upon our lives, is directly related to our impact upon eternity for many.

Because the Lord introduced this concept of garden tending as an effective metaphor for what it is we are to set our hearts to daily; because He continues, throughout the Word, to equate work in the Kingdom with gardening principles and activities:

Isaiah 58:10…you shall be like a watered garden…

Matthew 13:38The field is the world, and the good seed means the children of the Kingdom…

Luke 8:11– …the seed is the Word of God

John 15:1, 5I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser…I am the Vine; you are the branches.  Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit…

the parallel between spiritual and physical realities is hard to miss.  As His children, His representatives, His ambassadors, we are laborers together in this “field”.

Matthew 9:37 …The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few.  So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.

There are so many spiritual lessons to be gleaned through the process of gardening.  Indeed, you may not be a gardener; you may not be at all interested in farming or gardening.  However, in point of fact, you are called to it in spiritual terms.  You are called to be a harvester, you are called to spread the seed of the Word, and it is through and because of that calling, therefore, that our Father’s garden metaphors can be very instructive.

Not only are we to see our ministry before the Lord as a garden to be tended, a harvest to be anticipated, but we are to also tend the gardens of our own lives.  We tend His garden (the world and those in our immediate surroundings) and we are His garden (through obedience to the ministry of the Holy Spirit we tend to our own spiritual maturity and soul well-being).  We are called to stewardship; we are co-workers together in God’s garden.  Most have heard the phrase, “Grow where you are planted”.  God leads us and establishes us in a personal place of ministry according to the giftings that He has placed within each of us and we are to tend carefully the garden we are placed in.

It can be a place of great peace, this garden tending.  For once you settle into your very reason for being, once your heart acknowledges that here is your reality and all other potential paths are simply noisy distractions, you are in Kingdom rhythm.